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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Why Do So Many Latino Republicans Remain Silent?

Why Do So Many Latino Republicans Remain Silent?

LatinaLista — One characterization of Latinos that everyone likes to parrot is that as a group we don’t vote for the political party, as much as, we vote for the issues.
But when the issues are so intertwined with a party’s identity, that steadfast characterization runs the risk of being shattered.
It seems to be the case with the Latino community’s relationship with the Republican Party. After all, that’s how pundits explain how Bush was able to get so much of the Hispanic vote when he ran for office.

Yet, the Republicans are treating all Latinos these days like an abusive parent.
And the Latino Republican community is acting like abused children in that they refuse to speak out and defend themselves — or others.


In 2000, after witnessing some ignorant behavior by adult Republican delegates that verged on the border of being insulting towards several young Latino attendees at the Republican National Committee in Philadelphia, I turned to a friend who had been a lifelong Latino Republican and asked him why he would stay in a party that clearly did not know him.
His response was that he stayed in the hopes that things would change.
Well, seven years later and it’s obvious that things have not changed. Republicans don’t know their Latino members any better and Latino Republicans are still hanging in there hoping things will change.
The only thing that has changed is that the Republican Party’s attitude towards Latinos is far worse than it ever was and yet, we hear no condemnation or scolding or threats of leaving the party by a group of members who would have everything to gain if things changed within their party, and everything to lose at its current rate.
Sound too melodramatic?
How else can we describe a political party that seems to be devolving?
In this 21st century where people of color, who will outnumber whites, and have already in some cities, be so excluded, ignored and dismissed by one of the two major political parties of this country?
What’s even more puzzling is their own party members-of-color tolerate it. This has nothing to do with the stands on immigration or border security but it’s an issue of inclusion.
It’s very telling that the strongest advocate who hasn’t been afraid to speak out for the Hispanic voters to his Republican colleagues is none other than Karl Rove.
Donde estan los demas?
It’s bad enough that the only diversity among the serious Republican presidential candidates is their ages. Though the Democratic Party could use a bit more diversity, it’s got a headstart over a party that goes out of its way in its refusal to acknowledge that people of color are constituents that deserve equal time during this election.
I’m not just talking about the Univision debate and the Republicans’ refusal to appear or the invitations by different Latino groups during the summer that the Republican candidates refused to accept, or the failure of the GOP to acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month and wish its Latino members accordingly; I’m talking about the latest snub.
The one extended to the Republican candidates to a PBS debate moderated by Tavis Smiley.
Though some of the candidates did accept, the four leading candidates turned it down.
And the GOP members-of-color are still saying nada?
It’s one thing to show an unified front even when there is internal disagreement, but it’s another to carry that unified front to the extreme when your own ethnicity is under attack by a party that claims to be representative of all.

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Comment(14)

  • Avatar
    HispanicPundit
    September 17, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Politics is not done in a vacuum, it isn’t just the actions of Republicans that matter, it’s the action of Republicans with respect to Democrats that is the crucial point. And on that there isn’t much of a difference.
    Suuure, Democrats talk the talk more than Republicans do but that is because Democrats have a far larger Hispanic base than Republicans – so they have to. But when it comes to walking the walk, the difference is not that much – atleast not enough to make one minority issue so predominantly politically one-sided.
    Well, actually that isn’t completely true. There is one issue that is so overwhelmingly politically one sided that it would require Republicans to do a lot of other harm (far more than merely bad PR) to make me disregard it – school choice. Nothing can help minorities break the cycle of poverty more than education, and nothing improves education, especially inner city education where it is the most lacking, more than school choice. And on that, Republicans are clearly on the side of the minority. If I had to pick one issue that keeps me on the right (not necessarily Republican) more than all others, it would probably be school choice.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    September 18, 2007 at 8:14 am

    I am having difficulty understand what this so-called snub of Hispanics is within the Republican party. Maybe someone could elaborate?
    Personally, I am getting tired of ethnic politics. Our polticians shouldn’t be reaching out and targeting Americans by ethnic groups. They should be targeting all Americans. The issues we are faced with today affect all Americans. There is no issues special to just Hispanics, Blacks or Whites.
    Hispanics and other minorities including Blacks, typically vote Democrat anyway and the Republicans know that. Both parties have their own ideals,policies and views on how this country should be run. Hispanics, etal vote Democrat because of Democrat policies, not because Republicans are snubbing them. Should the Republican party change their policies just to suit miniorites? No, because then they would no longer be Repubs but Democrats and we would end up with one party.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    September 18, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I am having difficulty understand what this so-called snub of Hispanics is within the Republican party. Maybe someone could elaborate?
    Here’s an article to provide some perspective.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    September 18, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Duh! Maybe because they don’t support illegal immigration.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    September 18, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    So to want to build a border wall to protect our country is snubbing Hispanics? So being in favor of the rule of law in our country is snubbing Hispanics? Honoring our immigration laws is snubbing Hispanics? It isn’t the Republicans who are wrong then, it is those Hispanics who care more about ethnic bloodlines than the safety, security and laws of this country.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    September 18, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    Trolls rule!

  • Avatar
    Daniel Maldonado
    September 18, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    How many Hispanic Republican politicians are there?
    I think most are Cuban white males.
    Unless they grow up “Mexican” (Mexican-American / Chicano) I wouldn’t expect them to have a genuine understanding of our needs.
    I certainly do not know what issues are most vital to the Cuban Americans.
    The same could be said about Puerto Ricans.
    “Hispanic” was invented by white male Republicans to suit their own needs. “Hispanic” has suited them well.
    By lumping us together we self segregate and create our own divisions as a result of our different community needs.
    We are not homogeneous.
    In other words, a Cuban Republican does not speak for me. He’s basically a white male.
    I am not. I am indigenous, a Meso-Amercian. I am Mexica and Zacatec… a Chichimec.
    Most of us are no more “Spanish” than Shaquille O’Neal is Irish. A Spanish slave name does not make a man white.
    My people and ancestors have suffered genocide and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Euro white male – both English and Spanish – on both sides of the faux border.
    Why on earth would a white male have my best interest at heart?
    Is it possible for a white male to know what’s better for me than I do? I think not.
    Don’t expect “Hispanic Republicans” to stick up for me and expect them to be off the mark if they do.
    -Daniel

  • Avatar
    Frank
    September 19, 2007 at 8:16 am

    What does genetics have to do with it? We are all still human beings and we still all have the same concerns and needs. You are the one seperating humans into neat little genetic and ethnic groups. Politicians shouldn’t be catering to us by ethnicity or race, they should be targeting us only as Americans. There is no difference!
    Who cares what happened to your ancestors? What has that to do with today? The Euro-whites that did that are all dead and gone now. Are you saying that the whites alive today are somehow responsible or have the same genocidal tendicies? Like it or not, mestizos are partly white. You cannot claim your native indian ancestry while denying your white ancestry from Spain just because you don’t like what they did. Stop living in the past, it has nothing to do with today!

  • Avatar
    adriana
    September 19, 2007 at 11:34 am

    I don’t think that some Americans grasp the concept that history shapes who we are today. Like it or not, American history includes the history of the Mestizos, Africans, Asians, etc. If we were truly all treated as “Americans” without the distinction of race, I am sure that our jails would be more diverse, our communities would be less segregated, and the hurricane victims in the Gulf coast would be on a quicker path to recovery.
    As Cornel West has said, race matters. And unfortunately, I don’t think that it won’t in the near future.
    On a more basic level, if you have ever been a witness to a crime, the cops always ask what the race of the perpetrator is. You couldn’t get away with describing someone to law enforcement as an “American.”

  • Avatar
    Horace
    September 19, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    “I am sure that our jails would be more diverse, our communities would be less segregated,……..
    This is rich, as Hispanics have deliberately segregated themelves in their own colonies, mainly because they have no intention of assimilating. People in this country, both black, brown and white are taking considered action to separate themselves from one another.
    … …..and the hurricane victims in the Gulf coast would be on a quicker path to recovery.
    This is also funny. The main problem with the victims of the Gulf Coast is their failure to insure themselves against the vagaries of the weather by properly indemnifying their property. The people of New Orleans failed to maintain their levies. They built homes in the sinking land mass that they call a city. Their government knew for years that a major storm would drown New Orleans, but did they take action in their best interests to prevent it? No, they depended upon the federal government to keep their heads above water. If the people who own the property aren’t proactive in helping themselves, why should they complain when the federal government fails to do so. The federal government isn’t responsible for buying me a new home if it burns down or is inundated by the sea, so why should the people of New Orleans be treated any differently? I pay over a thousand dollars a year for insurance.
    The federal government has dumped truckloads full of money into New Orleans, but when it comes right down to it, if the local governments and their citizens aren’t making prudent decisions, there’s nothing the federal government can do to fix their situation. It’s this local incompetence and corruption at local level, mainly the Nagin and his crowd, that are ultimately the source of New Orlean’s failures. And these people keep getting elected, mainly because the locals base their decisions on race than compentence.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    September 19, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Of course cops would have to ask what race a person is because it is a way of identifying the criminal. In that case asking race is appropriate. If a Black guy committed a crime, who should they question, a White guy, an Asian guy? Get real here!

  • Avatar
    Horace
    September 19, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    It’s absurd to say that the immigration system is broken because there is no opportunity for Latin American poor to come here. The fact is that all poor people who would come here, regardless of nationality or race are excudable if it can reasonably be concluded that they would eventually become dependent upon the public welfare, even partially so. A nation cannot prosper if half its population is supporting the other half. It is the public will through our existing immigration laws that these people fall into the excludable category. This is a matter of common sense, not race politics. Unfortunately, many Latinos are willing to risk this country’s future for a charitable action.
    The immigration system is broken because foreigners have not been respecting our vetting system and immigration laws. It turns reason on its head when one says that the system is broken because it prevents the illegal from changing their status. What broke the system is the unscrupulous employer who hires the illegal alien and the fact that our border is being overwhelmed by those who fail to respect the wishes of the citizens of our nation. Whithout this alliance, no one would complain about our immigration system and it would be considered effective. Any system, be it the federal tax system or our code of laws becomes broken if the general population decides to ignore our laws. Our society is based upon the premise that the vast majority of citizens are honest, otherwise we could not hire enough police officers or build enough prisons to hold all violators. We’d have anarchy. Illegal aliens and their employers broke our system, and now they’re saying the system is broken because it won’t change to suit them. This is convoluted logic at its best.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    September 20, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Absolutely, Horace! Latin American immigration is second only to Asian immigration into our country and only by a small percentage. We have to base our immigration policies on our actual needs for foreigner workers not the needs of corporations to get cheap labor while discriminating against Ameicans for those jobs as they have by hiring illegal aliens. We also need immigration policies that control our population growth. We can’t have tunnel vision all in the name of a gigantic economy while jeopardizing our ability to sustain that population growth in the future.

  • Avatar
    Daniel Maldonado
    October 1, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Here is why the Repubs dont care what you Latinos, Hispanics, Mexicans or whatever think: LINK
    If you are Hilary’s next interview then congrats are in order but the numbers change ever so slightly.
    If anything, arm yourself with that while you interview her.
    She’s going through the motions.
    -Daniel

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